So you can read my books

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Don't forget to vote for my entry in Tessa's OUTSIDE THE BOX blogfest :

Is it time to swing into the saddle and ride off into the sunset?

My friend, Terry Stonecrop, is saying goodbye to her blog in such a fashion :

She did more writing on her novel in the month she was away from her blog than ever before.

It hurt to think I was going to see much less of her cyber-wise. Yet, I could see her reasoning.

It got me to thinking and researching :

1.) The average lifespan of a blog seems to be about 2-3 years, with posting frequency going down after about 18 months on most. And the growth rate has dropped 16% in one year.

Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated.

The Perseus report noted above indicates that 66.0% of surveyed blogs had not been updated in two months, "representing 2.72 million blogs that have been either permanently or temporarily abandoned".

2.) Twitter is the new rage to fritter your time away from your novel.

Twitter can consume your time. Work, real social interactions and rest can all suffer if you are constantly tweeting and following other tweets. You can check Twitter updates from your phone and send messages from anywhere.

In theory, many people use this as an escape from their own surroundings, paying more attention to Twitter updates, rather than reading that pertinent work email or writing that unfinished novel sitting on their desk.

If you pose the wrong image or comment online, you may be passed up for a promotion, considered undesirable for hire or, even, denied disability benefits for having too much fun.

3.) What do you think?

Is blogging dying? Is it worth the time away from your novel and research? Is Twitter the new forum to gain an agent's eye?


  1. Don't tell me it's dying - I've only been at it for a year!
    I see new bloggers all the time and some that stop. But I also follow some who've been around for years and years. Yes, I wrote more during NaNo when I wasn't online as much. I enjoy it though. (Something I never thought I would say.) Even if I end upi being a one-hit-wonder as an author, I'll continue blogging. Besides, I have a slew of people who would kill me if I didn't inform them of the latest & greatest movies!

  2. Alex : Glad to hear it. I would miss you! It is a drain on my time though. And you're too talented to be a one-hit wonder.

  3. people are STUCK with me!!!!

    Seriously, I can't get into twitter at all and I only go to facebook to see what's happening and then I duck out. Five minutes tops.

    Blogging helps relieve my need to write and it's good practice. Besides, you can get to know people much better this way.....

    Both of you better stick around. Alex, I want the movie updates and Roland, I want to know what happens with Gypsy!!!

  4. Blogging's my gig! Tried FB and Twitter, bolted from both. It's too much idle chit chat. Why am I supposed to be interested in what people are doing all day long? Or me, for that matter...I just put the garbage out, recycle one side, in clear bags,; shredded more stuff for recycle; put dishes in dishwasher...DUH!

    Also read where the high school kids had bailed out of blogging for twitter.

    There's something for everyone.

  5. Blogging reminds me to write; re-focus on writing tips; examine lessons learned from books, movies, and videogames; allows me to collect useful links for later; and forces me to do the research I've been meaning to do. I actually blog more when I'm writing / editing and vice versa as it forces me to remember I'm a writer.

  6. I'm pretty sure blogging's not dying, but most blogs have a short lifespan--as your stats say--2-3 years. Lots of people started them just because they were a new thing and others only wanted to be able to comment on other blogs.

    Blogs are essential to "platform building" but they sure can be a time suck. My advice is to resist the pressure to join in every discussion and blog every day. Nobody can do that and be a productive creative writer very long.

    I advocate "slow blogging" --Take announced hiatuses and blog only once a week or once a month when you're on a roll with the WIP. The secret is consistency. I think slow blogging will catch on as people start to feel burnout. You don't have to quit--just keep things in perspective.

    I hope Terry will consider a hiatus instead of a permanent farewell.

  7. I value Blogging for the opportunity to write meaningfully in more than two sentences. For me it's alive and well. It takes time but it needn't take over. If it takes over then you have to kill it. Better to control it ad enjoy it than to be controlled by it.

  8. I agree with "The Words Crafter." I cannot get into Twitter, you are stuck :(

    Besides I blog for me. It has allowed me to grow in my written word. Though life is throwing me curve balls right now I still read.

    And then there is the fact that I have met fine people like you. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  9. Neil Gaiman has been blogging for a decade and he still writes interesting stuff regularly.
    Right now, I'm still enjoying reading what other writers are saying on their blogs and saying what I want as well. I'm not going anywhere yet.

  10. Blogging is a bridge for some, like me. It keeps me writing when the WIP throws a curve.
    I guess blogging purges itself like anything else.
    Facebook is mostly for my family. I can't deal with Twitter -- too much, too often.

  11. I don't tweet, twitter or any of that other stuff. I blog and I write.

    Believe it or not, blogging has made me a better writer. My blog has been a place for self-discovery and I'm not ready to quit. Now, having said that, maybe people are ready to stop reading. If that's the case, then so be it. But I'm not just blogging for other people, I'm blogging for myself.

    And I may not always have something real important to say, as far as others may see it, but something that may be inane to others, might just have purpose for me.

    I hope you are not riding anywhere, Roland, I would miss you.

  12. I just started blogging a few months ago, I wish I had started sooner. I don't believe it will ever die. Tweets are only 100 words.... You could barely put a descent logline on it let alone an excerpt!

    SO i say LONGLIVE BLOGGING!!!!!!


  13. Wow - interesting post! I definitely get much more writing done when I'm on a blog break and will probably take them more frequently in the future. And I did just cut back from 3 posts/week to 2 at my blog's one year anniversary. But I've been meaning to figure out Twitter for a long time now and just haven't gotten around to it yet and probably won't anytime soon.

  14. I haven't logged into twitter, and only go on FB occassionally - though I've been spending a little more time on FB to keep connected to my family.

    I think blogging is like any other thing you do; it has its up phases and down. New people are always flitting in and out.

    I thought about giving it up for a while myself, but then where would I get my most frequent writing info and opportunities. I don't write consistently on my own. I need incentive. Blogfests and contests and even writing my own post keeps me writing something at least. When I feel the mood to write - I log off and get to it.

    If I could log on from my day job, or eve could stay at home to write, I'd be a bit more diligent about posting and commenting. I only have a limited time though.

    Think of blogging like a phoenix bird: it may wither and die at intervals, but it always resurrects itself with fresh people, and fresh ideas.


  15. Susan : Twitter just seems like a frittering away of time, checking in and responding to minute details of living. I'm happy to hear that you still plan to be around blogville, even though you write less.

    Michael : I'm with you. Tweets are too short to be of any real use to me. Good to know that you'll still be around.

    Wendy : Blogging has made me feel not quite so alone. No one I know locally writes at all. And I feel better knowing that you'd not want this blog to ride off into the sunset.

    Mary : Facebook and Twitter seem not to fill any need in my life either. I like this blog commenting exchange much better.

    Tricia : Neil has help with his blog, too. Also he travels by plane a lot. I imagine blogging gives him something to do then, and also keeps him in touch with his fans in a way that personal appearances are too crowded and noisy to do.

    Jules : I hate to hear that life is throwing you curve balls right now. It does seem as if the holidays are too often sour for so many. I will say a prayer that the way is made for smooth for you in whatever way you need.

    Elisabeth : You make a valid point. Blogging only takes over if we let it. If we exercise discipline and time-prioritizing, we can control blogging and not the other way around.

    Anne : I agree. Blog regularly but sanely. Keep a blog presence, for you never know who is dropping by. Regular posts encourage regular visiting. But be moderate.

    Shannon : I admire you in that you blog more when you're writing. I blog less when I write.

    Kittie : It makes sense that high schoolers tweet more. 100 words is great for those shorter attention spans! Oh, boy. I've just painted a target on myself. Just kidding there. I was a high school teacher for awhile. I know just how perceptive and deep many high schoolers really. But, Kittie, I'm with you : FB and T just seem too much idle chit chat. I have a life to live.

    Words Crafter : Knowing you plan to stay is hardly being stuck with you. It relieves me to no end. As for Gypsy, she is impatiently waiting for me to get back to watching INCEPTION. She has it all figured out of course! Gypsy just wants to rub my nose in her brillance!

  16. Donna : Yes, I believe it will be around for awhile myself. But I miss my friends who have come and gone. The author who inspired me to start my own blog left long before I started. I am not fond of change. I have lost too many friends. Thanks for dropping by, Donna. And thanks even more for being my friend, Roland

  17. I have really enjoyed blogging so far. I don't think I will go away any time soon, but I've made it a month or two. Not bad. I like your writing and blog. Very nice and thoughtful. I don't think the blog is dead, but it's not the social platform it once was.

    I hope you find the time to stop by,

    Draven Ames

  18. Flying High In The Sky : Thanks so much. It means a lot. Have a great tomorrow!

  19. Hi,

    Late to the party again!

    I treat blogging as a fun-time occupation, and find it reaaaaaaaal hard to keep up with prolific bloggers . . . I wish some would slow down a little (like maybe post three-times week) 'cause I haven't the time to comment on daily entries per blog: so many out there of interest, and one's writing can suffer if too wrapped up in blogging,twittering, and facing off. So I understand why Terry is dropping out.

    As for Twitter: I thought it was for ardent texting fans who in the normal run of things cannot spell nor can they pen a decent sentence! u r nt goig belve ts -translation: you are not going to believe this. ;)


  20. I think one of the biggest problems is that too many people try to blog every single day and they get burned out. Three or four times a week is more than enough and it gives you more material over a longer period of time. Plus, it gives your readers time to catch up on all your posts. I read close to a hundred blogs a day and I have to skip some that blog seven days a week. I just don't have time!

  21. Gah! Too bad. I'm not doing Twitter. Also, I don't blog every day, in order to make sure I have time to write! I post once a week on Wednesdays, with an occasional second post on Mondays or Fridays. It's difficult to come up with fresh new stuff (of quality) EVERY day. I feel like I'm doing fellow writers/bloggers a favor by posting less frequently. :o)

  22. Hi Roland .. I don't think blogging is dying .. many blogs will start and stop - because they're not unique, not worked their plan and haven't got a clue!

    However combining blogging, with social media and a book or two .. can be done & it's short bursts .. I like what Shannon said .. it's getting ourselves organised and into it - that takes the strain!

    Don't stop .. cheers Hilary

  23. Hi Roland! I do not think blogging is dying. In fact, the bloggers that I follow are very prolific with their posts. I try to post three times weekly for consistency. The upside to blogging is that it keeps me writing, and I have found a lot of other writers whose encouragement is helpful and appreciated. The downside is the time...tonight, for instance. It has taken me two hours to read and comment on other blogs (including this one) and that is time away from my novel and other writing pursuits. I can't say if the problem is the blogging or my poor time management. Something for me to ponder as I attempt to carve out more writing time.

  24. Of course it's dying. So is every other media format. The world is now inundated with TMI. I could literally spend 8 hours a day just reading/commenting on blogs. I currently subscribe to 392 feeds, out of which probably 300-350 are active. I only regularly check ~30 of those feeds on a daily basis.
    It's the whole noise/signal thing. I wish I could do more but I have a novel to finish.